Rhonda James scores with FIRE AND ICE, the second book in the Sticks & Hearts series. While avoiding her ex at a wedding, Delaney Dixon meets Derek Davis thinking they will have a one-night fling. However, neither one can stop thinking about each other. Too bad they really do not know much about one another, including where the other one lives. This contemporary sports romance takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Atlanta, Georgia. It is suitable for New adult audiences.
Rhonda James does a great job with her character development. Laney is a sweet girl who has had a difficult hand dealt to her. She is sad and lonely. Nothing seems to go her way. She is hiding a secret and keeps to herself. She is determined and hard working. My heart broke for her and the things she went through. Derek comes from a privileged background. He is a good guy, caring, and a gentleman. He goes after what he wants. He is a ladies’ man until he meets Laney, and she is all he can think about. I love that he would go to whatever extent to take care of her. The two have amazing chemistry. I enjoyed their texts. I think it is great that they are both fans of Iron Man. They grow throughout the novel and have lots of depth.
I enjoyed the plot. I like how Derek and Laney met. I love that they had no clue that they both went to Great Lakes University. Their reunion is intense. They have some interesting obstacles to overcome, including some family issues. I love how close Derek is to his teammates: Cage, Rivers, and Masterson. They are like family. I appreciate that Laney hits it off with Cassie. I find it amusing that Derek is jealous of his friends when they flirt with Laney. The hockey scenes are well done and believable. I love the epilogue.
This is the first book that I have read by Rhonda James. I really enjoy her writing style. This story had me feeling all sorts of emotions. I plan on continuing to follow this series. I already got a copy of book one, JERSEY GIRL, to read. I had no problem following this book even though I skipped over the first book in the series. However, after getting to know Brantley Cage and Cassie Rivers in FIRE AND ICE, I want to hear their story in JERSEY GIRL. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.